Two trains speed toward each other in a blizzard, as a killer wanders the night! Melodrama on the rails, in this week’s Thrilling Tales: Storytime for Grownups, available now! On May 20, 1920 the readers opening the new issue of Metropolitan magazine were captivated by a heart-stopping tale entitled The Signal Tower, by Wadsworth Camp. Never heard of him? Neither had I! Most of the details we know about the man come from biographies of his daughter Madeleine L’Engle, the beloved author of A Wrinkle in Time. Camp was known in his day as the author of several excellent mystery novels, many of which were adapted to the stage or screen.
The Signal Tower did very well for Camp, appearing in the 1920 edition of Best American Short Stories, the annual story collection started in 1915 and still published to this day. Camp’s spare, gripping tale concerns railroad signal men, the air traffic controllers of their day, managing a far flung network of signal towers and holding thousands of lives in their hands. Our hero faces an unbearable dilemma as two trains speed toward each other along the same track, while his drunken and vengeful coworker stalks toward his defenseless wife and child. Small wonder the story was loosely adapted into a silent film of the same name – you can watch the whole thing here. Or listen to the full story in our latest Thrilling Tales podcast.
~Posted by David W.
Now that Hallowe’en is past, we approach the holidays with visions of murder dancing in our heads. We’re talking about the next few months of Thrilling Tales – Seattle Public Library’s popular Story time for Grownups, of course!
It all starts this Sunday: November 17, 7 p.m. with a Storytime for Grownups at Third Place Books, Seward Park of the story Plan 19, by Jack Ritchie
Fred and Hector have cooked up eighteen separate plans for their big prison break, but it takes Big Duke to add that one missing ingredient. This time, they can’t fail!
Monday November 18, noon: Dances With Ghosts, by Joseph Bruchac. Harley Bigbear is haunted enough, without the angry ghosts of white men banging on his trailer door. Gritty Indian Country noir by this prize-winning indigenous author. Continue reading “Thrilling Tales for the Holidays”
You can feel it in the air, can’t you: Autumn is just around the corner, and here at the library that means gathering around to hear some spooky stories. Once again this Fall, we’ll be presenting our ‘Ales from the Crypt spooky story time in bars around town (visit the Booktoberfest page soon for details, or mark your calendar now for one of these dates: Tuesday Oct 22, 8 p.m. – Palace Art Bar, Georgetown; Sunday, Oct 27, 8 p.m. – Tippe & Drague Alehouse, Beacon Hill; Wednesday, Oct 30, 8 p.m. – Floating Bridge Brewing, University District. We will also have a pair of spooky readings as part of this year’s LitCrawl.
For those who prefer to get scared in broad daylight, don’t miss our regular lunch hour Thrilling Tales program as we shift into the spooky season of the year:
Monday, September 9, noon: The Painted Smile, by William Kent Krueger. Ten-year-old Oliver believes he’s Sherlock Holmes, and he isn’t the only one: just ask Professor Moriarty. Krueger’s homage to Arthur Conan Doyle is full of fun surprises. Continue reading “Longer nights: Stranger tales”
This Spring, Thrilling Tales – our regular lunch hour Story Time for Grown Ups – will transport you from the psychoanalyst’s couch to the funeral parlor, from suburbia to death row, from the swamp to a magical realm where dragons fly overhead. Join us, won’t you? Admission is free, and brown bag lunches are welcome! All readings begin at 12:05 in the Central Library’s Microsoft Auditorium, and are finished well before 1 p.m.
Monday, March 11: The Other Side of the Wall, by Stanley Ellin. Someone had better call the police: Dr. Schwimmer and his patient Albert are about to have a major breakthrough. Also, The Great Silence by Ted Chiang. The humans look to the stars for non-human intelligence, but we parrots are right here. Talk to us!
Monday, March 25: Homicide House, by Day Keene. He married her for her money, but Continue reading “Spring into Suspense with these Thrilling Tales!”
The formula is simple: a reader, some listeners, and a book of suspenseful stories; beginnings, middles and ends, with a few twists and turns along the way. Nothing fancy of high tech: just words in silence, and the occasional laughter or gasp. That’s Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Grownups, now entering its sixteenth year at the Central Library. Join us, won’t you?
Here’s some of what awaits you in the months ahead: Continue reading “Chilling Tales for Winter”